Pages Navigation Menu

About Natalie Bright

Natalie’s Books

Upcoming Events

Prairie Purview

Windmills on the High Plains

Posted by on Feb 23, 2018

Oldtimers say it’s a place where you can watch your dog run away for two days. A vast, arid plain of un-watered hearty mixture of grasses. Charles Goodnight set his ranch in Palo Duro Canyon and watered his livestock from the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River, the flowing channel that had cut the deep canyon. In the northern Texas Panhandle, the early sheepherders settled along the banks of the Canadian River. In between were millions of acres of land without water. The thing that drove early pioneer women mad, coating clean laundry with dust and turning vegetable gardens into wilted choas, was the thing that opened the Texas Panhandle for settlement. The wind.   It wasn’t unheard of to combine the power of wind with the movement of water. The Europeans had utilized windmills in ancient villages for several centuries to drive sawmills, power small factories, and mill flour. The shallow wells back East produced water by drawing a bucket “hand-over-hand”, but that method didn’t work in the Panhandle where the land was hard and the water lay deep below the surface. B. B. Groom of the Diamond F Ranch in Carson County brought the first well-drilling machine into our area in 1882. American inventors applied the same principles only made...

Read More

Great-Grandmother’s Oak Table

Posted by on Feb 16, 2018

Is it possible to feel emotional towards a piece of furniture? We own an antique oak table which came from Mullins, Texas, my great-grandmother’s house. It must have been over 75 years old when Mom and Dad brought it home. I was in Junior High. My parents passed it to me when I married eleven years later. My husband rebuilt part of the base, which had rotted from being stored in a barn. The top has worm trails and puncture holes, which he meticulously filled with wood putty. I stopped him and dug out most of the putty before it dried, telling him I wanted every crack and hole to remain as they were. He visualized a smooth and shiny honey-colored oak top, with a new finish. My vision was completely different. “It has character,” I said. He added six layers of varnish on the top and glued the under skirt, but it hangs loose. I still like the imperfections.   We eat an early breakfast there every morning at this round table, my husband and I, before the kids wake. It’s usually the only time of day we have each others undivided attention. My mom and my oldest son worked on a craft project together and nothing will remove those dried spots of...

Read More

January Reads

Posted by on Jan 28, 2018

Recommended reads and reviews for a few of the treasures I discovered in January.   For Fans of Westerns THE MEDICINE KNIFE by Don Coldsmith I’m working my way through The Spanish Bit Saga by Don Coldsmith, after finding a few of his works at the local library sale. He is known for putting a new twist on the Western novel genre by writing in the Native American point of view. In Book 12, “The Medicine Knife” (Random House,...

Read More

Master Storyteller, Dusty Richards

Posted by on Jan 19, 2018

The Western Genre lost a legend, mentor, and award-winning author. DUSTY RICHARDS passed this week from injuries following a car wreck in December, just one week after his wife, Pat, died. DUSTY RICHARDS wore a wide variety of hats including renowned rodeo announcer, auctioneer, teacher, author, tremendous storyteller, cattle farmer, and cowboy. His Byrnes Family Ranch Series (Pinnacle Publishing) is one of my favorites and highly entertaining. His first novel, NOBLE’S WAY, was published in 1992, and has since penned...

Read More